October: A month and forever without …

(Part of A Year of Living Without)

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The original zen habits challenge was to go on vacation without feeling guilty.

Planned replacement habits: Actually enjoy the time off. Breathe. Unplug for at least three days.

Month-end Report: I did go on vacation (five days to boot). It was a guilt-free time off for me, alright, but far from enjoyable. I missed a major activity at the office, and I didn’t care. Unfortunately, it was an “emergency leave,” bereavement leave to be exact.

It’s October 30 as I’m as I’m writing this, exactly a month since my father passed on. It’s been a month without drugstore errands  and hospital stays.

It’s been a month without Papa.

I was at Mercury Drug two weekends ago, and an overwhelming sense of sadness came over me as I realized I was actually there buying meds for myself (antacid and paracetamol)…and not the usual loot I had to buy almost daily for Papa (albumin, antibiotics, and a lot more).

It was a routine I took seriously, almost solemnly. First, I would check my own excel file masterlist of meds (oh yes, complete with generic names, brand names, dosage strength, and the comparative prices of four drugstores), then I’d go to the drugstore hoping the less expensive albumin would be available there. I’d hand the doctor’s prescription and Papa’s senior citizen ID card and booklet to the pharmacist then get the meds and the ice pack that usually goes with those meds.

But he’s gone now.

I felt so empty and lost standing like an idiot there at the drugstore before finally asking for my own Kremil S and Biogesic.

I miss my father. Although I always tell myself he’s in a much better place now, well- rested, ‘breathing” easier, and free from earthly pain and hardships, it would probably take a long time before I could enter a drugstore or a hospital without a tinge of sadness or emptiness. I still offer a silent prayer for Papa whenever my cab passes by the Lung Center on my way to work.

So there.

When I started this personal experiment called “A Year of Living Without” in January, I wanted to simplify my life and give up some habits. I didn’t expect to lose someone I so dearly love and respect with all my heart.

I will try my best to let go of the pain and the sadness of losing Papa, but I will keep the happy memories our family had with him for as long as I live.

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